Worried about the cream not rising

As you all know, because I mention it a lot, I was really in to Project Spark. In essence this game was identical to Dreams – amateur game makers making games at home on their own on their consoles. It failed. Massively. It was free. It still failed to get the numbers. And what were the numbers? Well, at least 4 times what Dreams is getting. How do I know this? I am a compulsive data analysis geek. I like to study data and discover information that no one else knows, because they havent looked. I like to look. At its height the weekly numbers for games on

Project Spark Most played level of the week  4th Dec 2015 received 2239 plays
Dreams Most liked level of the week 4 Aug 2019 received 554 plays

*Note: Project Spark removed likes because it was being abused, so only number of plays can be shown, and on Spark they were unique plays and not total plays, so the Dreams audience is probably even less of a fraction than these numbers would suggest.

And where can I access the most popular game on Dreams from last week? Nowhere. It is not in Trending. It is not in Newest. It doesnt have enough likes to even make it into the top 1000 most thumbed up games. So, not surprisingly it is not going to get any more. The levels that are visible do get likes and plays. They are the levels that rose to the top during the Beta and are in Most Thumbs up. They are not the best levels, because it was the Beta and we were all still learning.

The most liked levels in Project Spark and Dreams were both made in the first few weeks of the games existence. In Project Spark Links Adventure did not shift from the top spot from its day of launch until the cancellation. Its numbers were totally unobtainable by any levels that followed it. By the end it had over 240,000 unique visitors, its nearest rival 119,000.

In Dreams, Prometheus has been played 74,558 times and liked by 22,707 Dreamers. When levels are now only getting 200 likes before they vanish from the feeds, this feed is just not going to change. And it does not represent the best of Dreams. But newbies are not going to know that. And they are going to play what they think is the best games on Dreams, and they just are not., and they are going to be disappointed The best games on Dreams are going to be made in about a year. But they will be practically invisible. Yes, we can curate and make lists and videos, and shout about it. But it still does not alter the fact that the feeds do not allow the cream to rise.

How do we determine the best? Personal taste plays a big part in this. I am not sure I could choose a top 10 of the best games currently on Dreams that would satisfy everyone, or even me. But here is the other problem. How do you find a decent collection? People tend to not thumb up collections.They do not come up in Trending very often.

I am concerned that we will have to rely on the MM picks to be a good selection. Personally I dont rate their choices. Some creators are over-represented. Some levels are only appealing to other developers. I am not sure it is selling Dreams as a playable option. Wow factor for visuals being high, but gameplay pretty low. Also, they are Beta creations on the whole. Things are moving on rapidly. These creations are already looking old.

I am not sure what the solution is. I am making a top 10 every week, so at least we get some idea of the levels that people are liking. Before I started this, I had no idea what levels were popular, as Trending seems to alter constantly on an hourly basis, and is not related to plays or likes. I also make my own Pick of the Week which is a personal choice, and some levels are chosen for quirky reasons.

What we have to be careful of, is that influencers on social media do not get the wrong impression about the quality of games on Dreams and put people off trying it, buying it, playing it, just because they looked at a few Beta creations.

 

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